Here at The New Zealand Cellar we take extra care to look after your wine and deliver it to you in as perfect condition as possible. Our underground cellar is cool, dark and still and the wine is left largely undisturbed until you need it. But how should you store your wine at home?
There is no need to go out and get yourself a state-of-the-art wine fridge, or have a temperature-controlled cellar installed (unless of course, you want to…) but to keep your wine at its best until you are ready to open it, there are a few easy things you can do.
If you are storing wines at home, make sure:
They are kept in a dark or dimly lit place. Strong light can change the taste of your wine, especially white wine in clear or light glass. Keeping them in the boxes they came in will do.
The temperature is around 10 - 15ºC. Up to 20 ºC is OK but don’t go over 24 ºC. If too warm your wine will mature much faster than it should and the colour may change. Also make sure that the temperature does not fluctuate too much – avoid rooms that get hot in the afternoon sun, or storing near the boiler or oven.
Your bottles are stored at a good angle. Happily, screwcapped bottles can be stored at any angle, but those closed with cork need to be protected from oxygen. Storing wine flat on its side keeps the cork damp so it won’t dry out, shrink, let air in a ruin the wine.
You keep the wine away from strong smells. Paint, chemicals and cooking smells are the most common culprits.
Remember that wine is for drinking and enjoying. Some wines are made to be aged and enjoyed years down the track, others will be at their best for a year or so only. If you’re unsure, just ask us.
It might seem tricky to find the right spot, but remember that your basement, a cupboard or under the bed in the spare room (away from a radiator) may well be ideal.
Serving your wine
Different wines are at their best when served at different temperatures. A lot of people drink their whites too cold and their reds too warm, meaning they won’t be able to taste the full flavour of the whites or the reds will taste more ‘soupy’ and alcoholic.
Try to serve your:
Champagne and sparkling wine, dry whites and rose at around 8 - 11ºC
Sweet whites could go a little cooler – about 5 - 8ºC
Light reds at around 13 - 18ºC
Heavier red wine at 15 - 19ºC
If you’re not sure about temperatures, it’s best to serve wine a bit too cool – it will warm up in your glass. Putting your reds in the fridge for just half an hour can really improve the taste.
Remember above all of this that your wine is for enjoying with friends, so don’t feel the need to get bogged down in the details.